What type of soil do you have?

I had to google loamy soil so I knew what it was. I’ve never tested my soil like this before but this looks like a neat way to figure out just how your soil is classified. It may be helpful to some to understand what soil they have so I’m posting a link to it. My ground is to frozen to check now but I’ll be checking my vegetable garden just to see how it test out.My garden was clay when I started but I have put trailer loads of compost in and wood chips with shreaded bark on top. It’s pretty black now. I know my trees in the orchard are in clay and sandy soil. I always mix in cow manure that’s been bought from the big box stores by the bag, and some compost too. Has anyone ever tried this test before?



I like the link above. It shows the soil textural triangle which gives a person an idea about how sandy, loamy, and clayey soils relate to each other.

I also like the map of the USA that shows soil textural types across the country. The SE is primarily sandy and sandy loam soils. These are old soils low in organic matter and nutrients. They also tend to be much higher in clay in the subsoil than in the surface. That’s because rainfall has carried the clay deeper into the soil over very long periods of time.

The corn belt is primarily silty and silt loam soils. These are the best soils in the country for corn and soybeans because they have high water and nutrient capacity and high organic matter content. They are also young soils having been formed from sediments deposited after the last ice age. The soils formed under grassland in the western part of the cornbelt are better than those formed under forest in the eastern part.

For fruit trees the subsoil is more important than the topsoil. The subsoil has more influence on soil drainage than the topsoil. As mentioned above most soils have more clay in the subsoil than in the topsoil due to the action of rainfall moving downward over many yrs. So if you really want to scope out your soils dig down 2-5ft and check out the subsoil.

Well drained subsoils tend to be reddish in color. That indicates that the iron is well oxidized and the soil well drained. Subsoils that are grey/blackish indicate reduced iron and poor drainage.

I started out in college with a major in soils but switched to crops in my second yr. I’ve always been fascinated looking at soils in trenches and the like. And not to brag but I was on the national champion soil judging team for Univ. of Illinois in both North Carolina 1965 and New Mexico 1966. We didn’t think much of their “soil” compared to the Midwest.


That triangle is the first for me. I have never seen it before. The test with the glass and dishwasher soap is the first for me too. I found it very interesting. My orchard has brown sand with clay to white sugar sand like a beach when I dig down below. I put my pool on a hill and dug the uphill out and threw it at the downhill side against a rock terrace I built. I hit pockets of white sand. I used that sand when I dug my pool for the under liner layer. My pool is in my orchard, and my garden is up hill from my pool.


That’s some very good synopsis. The only thing that I wonder about is your comment about red subsoil. I assume you don’t mean red clay subsoil? I’ve seen a lot of red clay and it doesn’t perk well at all. They used to make bricks out of it in my wife’s home town.


That’s great information…Living in Florida makes it easy…pretty much everything here is fine sand, so you can add as much organic mattter as you need because the soild won’t retain it…

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I’m at the top of a hill where slopes are 8%-15%. According to a 1978 USDA soil survey, I have Volusia Channery Silt Loam containing up to 30% rock fragments (channers, gravel, flagstone) in the top soil layer. The important feature is a dense fragipan subsoil 10"-20" below surface.

Apparently water doesn’t conduct well through the fragipan, which creates the waterlogging effect in the top soil. Due to the slopes, the waterlogged topsoil does have a slow current moving through it (mostly parallel to surface). I’m guessing this is better for roots than standing water? I haven’t seen much harm from 2-4 weeks of waterlogged soil. In the valley they have a different dynamic because there are nearly no slopes and the topsoil layer is much deeper.

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I didn’t want to start another thread so I hope this one is fine. Seems along the right vein. Anyone can help me with why this can be helpful in a garden or fruit tree going area? diatomaceous earth,…

For random questions I usually go to: Questions Not Deserving Of A Whole Thread.

Hmmmmmmm. TY. Didn’t know one existed.